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It’s one set of rules for Blatter, and another for everyone else

By Walter Broeckx

In January Sepp Blatter declared according to various media that he was in favour of goal line technology. This was rather a surprising thing as in the years before he was someone who was against the use of technology. But there was joy among people who have always been in favour of the use of goal line technology for this U-turn.

Now the decision on using such things is not alone the responsibility of Sepp Blatter. No it is up to some committee who is keeping an eye on the rules.  I don’t know who is in this committee but if this committee is the same like the committee’s that I see every now and then from our FA than you should imagine that they have an average age of somewhere between 80 and 90 years old. I don’t have anything against older people but you could easily imagine how most of those people don’t like all those new things.

So they decided to … do nothing. No technology will be used. Now as good democrats we can only accept it. But now you hear Blatter telling everybody that he is against goal line technology. He gives various reasons for this such as, “who will pay for such technology?”  And this could be a valid argument for let’s say the league played on Fiji.  But can someone really say without bursting in to laughter that this would cost too much to introduce those things in the EPL ?

And then he said  that every game all over the world should be played with the same rules. He said: ‘The simplicity and universality of the game of association football is one of the reasons for its success. Men, women, children, amateurs and professionals all play the same game all over the world.’

Now I really don’t know how much Blatter knows about football but when you look at the rule book on the first pages there is written and I quote:

Modifications

Subject to the agreement of the member association concerned and provided the principles of these Laws are maintained, the Laws may be modified in their application for matches for players of under 16 years of age, for women footballers, for veteran footballers (over 35 years of age) and for players with disabilities.

Any or all of the following modifications are permissible:

• size of the field of play

• size, weight and material of the ball

• width between the goalposts and height of the crossbar from the ground

• duration of the periods of play

• substitutions

So in fact the rules are not the same for “men, women, children, amateurs and professionals”. Games and the rules could be different from country to country.  Even offside is not the same in every country when you play youth football.   Even in punishments the rules are different. If an amateur in my country hits a ref he gets a 3 year ban. If a professional players does the same he gets a few months.  Just to show you that the rules now are not the same for everyone like they said.

But don’t worry football is in the safe hands of people who are protecting the rules so well that they have not even got past page 5 of their own rule book.

One of the other reasons that got mentioned in the media in my country was the fact that if they would use goal technology it would be less entertaining for the fans after the game. Because in that case we could not have the same discussions over the ball crossing the line or not.

Now don’t you ever dare to say that those high placed persons don’t feel for the fan way below the football pyramid. No, they are afraid we would have nothing more to discuss in the pub, we would drink  less and the world economy would fall to pieces.

Did you ever realise how much damage to our lives that a camera on the line could cause?

But lucky Blatter and Fifa have rescued the world economy by their decision. I bet they cannot imagine that we can talk for hours in the pub by describing Nasri’s goal against Porto. And discussing such a goal is much more fun than talking about the fact that maybe the ball didn’t always cross the line.

So Blatter is now defending the non-use technology and has made another U-turn in two months time. One can only hope he doesn’t get too dizzy from all that turning in different directions.

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You can see details of all the recent stories on Untold Arsenal here

12 comments to It’s one set of rules for Blatter, and another for everyone else

  • rusty

    As an American Arsenal fan, I thought it might be enlightening to bring you a related story from our shores. Baseball, the most hidebound and traditionalist of American sports, is generally on par with association football in terms of Decisions of the Umpire are Final and Subject to Human Error, which is Part of the Game. The league is so tied to this view that they refused to allow high-resolution digital cameras to film from the angles most conducive to second-guessing those calls.

    That said, last season, baseball instituted a video replay usable only to review whether a ball hit into the stands was a home run or not. It has not led to umpires being replaced by computers. It has not prevented fans from arguing about controversial calls (nor would goal-line technology have prevented the outrage perpetrated on Fiorentina in Munich). But it has taken away one uncommon but particularly egregious kind of error.

  • c.u.r.s.e

    do we need any more proof that puppets get the best jobs.

  • Phil Gregory

    As I see it (and coincidentally, touched on briefly in an article I’ve just sent to Tony!) the issue lies in the fact that not all federations are capable of introducing the technology. Naturally, all federations can afford to alter pitch dimension, but they can’t all pay for cutting edge goalline technology.

    Though Blatter does himself no favours, as you point out Walter in saying something completely untrue!

  • Rhys Jaggar

    Is there seriously a possibility that a club who finished 5th because goal-line technology was used to correctly award a goal to a team who, as a result, finished 4th ahead of them, would sue UEFA/FIFA for loss of ECL income if the technology was not adopted throughout Europe??

    I find it unlikely.

    So long as all clubs in a League agreed to use the technology for the whole season, appointed technology partners and arbiters and monitored it all correctly, why would the League rules be unfair??

    I can’t see Platini stopping the EPL introducing it by banning English clubs from Europe – he just wouldn’t do it. And if Blatter banned the ECL winners from England from playing in the World Club Championship?? Well, his credibility would be down the drain, wouldn’t it??

    I think EPL should just get on with it. Next season. And recommend La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga to do likewise.

  • LRV

    Sepp is a blaster, who does not often understand himself half the time. If any country’s league decide to introduce goal-line technology, can Blatter or any of his coteries really stop them? I doubt it.

  • cescophreniac

    Frankly I don’t really care whether they do it of not. I mean I know it does tick fans off when it happens but how many times has it happened this season? Games are affected more frequently by wrong penalty and sending off decisions than they are by “did it or did it not cross the line” moments. Yes when it happens in a high profile game especially if it’s my team I WILL feel that it needs to be looked at in the heat of the moment but it will be a lot of hooplah that solves a very very minor problem in the game.
    So why do FIFA keep bringing it up when they know they are just going to shut it down? Well, if we were not discussing this, we would be asking why they are not seriously and immediately taking action to punish the clubs that have been spending insanely and ruining the market for everybody rather than UEFA agreeing to extend the deadline even further.
    Three years from now when the new deadline is getting near and Real, City, KGB fulham et al are still spending $300m to try to buy Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey, there will be another meeting in Zurich and they will again reject goal line tech and say those poor third world countries can’t play football if we do it.

  • Onowu top gunner

    Any person voting against the use of technology in football is a COMPLETE CHEAT who is afraid that the avenue at which they FIX MATCHES is about to come to an end. They can not give a genuine reason why the beautiful game which clubs & national associations spend a whole lot of money and resources to execute can not be upgraded to the level at which the world is operating today. Tell me if u are from rep. Of ireland how u will feel after ur country hav spent millions of euros only to be kicked out of the world cup because fifa wanted to see the french team at the world cup. Tell me how mr blatter would hav felt if it was to be his own swiss team that got kicked out because of selfish interest. Lets call a spade a spade

  • Onowu top gunner

    Any person voting against the use of technology in football is a COMPLETE CHEAT who is afraid that the avenue at which they FIX MATCHES is about to come to an end. They can not give a genuine reason why the beautiful game which clubs & national associations spend a whole lot of money and resources to execute can not be upgraded to the level at which the world is operating today. Tell me if u are from rep. Of ireland how u will feel after ur country hav spent millions of euros only to be kicked out of the world cup because fifa wanted to see the french team at the world cup. Tell me how mr blatter would hav felt if it was to be his own swiss team that got kicked out because of selfish interest. Lets call a spade a spade. Onowu top gunner

  • WillyG

    Don’t just blame FIFA. The Irish and Welsh representatives in IFAB also rejected the rule change. Yep, the same Irish who felt hard done by the Henry goal.

  • Phil

    Willy, more of a concern is that those federations have an equal say! The Welsh and Irish leagues are tiny, and the SPL is a shadow of the Premier League. The very fact they have equal voting rights (not even proportional!) is madness

  • pieceofgosa

    Phil, proportional based on what? Number of teams? Average attendance? Turnover? Co-efficients? Think about it mate. Every FA has to get an equal say or there really is no point to the whole thing & you’d be as well just letting the English, Spanish & Italian FA’s run the world game. Which I suspect after a few years would lead to a 3 team world cup.

  • walter

    The votes in Ifab are divided in to 4 votes to England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales and 4 votes for Fifa.

    As I can imagine how things work in those backroom meetings some benefits will have been given to some of the members. Let’s say a nice financial compensation for some country’s that have missed the WC by some decision or so….